River Cleanup in Niles – Ecology Scuba Dive

Updated 9/27/2016 10:15am

October 1, 2016

11:00am to 3:00pm

Don’t forget that this Saturday, October 1, is the St. Joe river cleanup behind the Wonderland Theatre in Niles. Divers, Snorkelers, Swimmers, Kayakers, Waders, and Bubble Watchers are all needed to help out. The City of Niles is providing a dumpster and the MUD Club & local dive shops are providing the manpower to remove a bunch of “JUNK” from the river. There are bottles, tires, bottles, bicycles, bottles, car parts, bottles, and all sorts of “junk” to pick up and clean out of the river. Did we mention there are a lot of old bottles that you might want to display rather than throw into the dumpster, but that is your choice. 

We are planning to be in the river any time between 11:00 and 3:00, with prizes being awarded for the most unusual, heaviest, and biggest pile.

Everyone is invited to come out and help. If you are diving, be sure to bring a dive flag and float to mark your position in the river. Extreme caution is urged as portions of the river have strong current and multiple snag and overhead hazards. There are areas that have less hazard and depths can run from 1 foot to over 10 feet. Anyone participating is volunteering their time at their own risk.


Michigan Underwater Divers Club is organizing an Ecology Scuba Dive. The goal is to clean up as much trash as possible in the Saint Joseph River and on the shoreline along the Indiana Michigan River Valley Trail near Riverfront Park. We will be gathering behind the Wonderland Theater. From there we will be spread up and down the river with the primary plan to cover from the upstream Grant Street bridge down to the rail road bridge near Wayne Street. With enough support the area could expand up to the French Paper Mill Dam.

The ecology dive is open to all Scuba Divers, Snorkelers and anyone willing to walk the bank or shore. Shore support will greatly increase the amount of trash that can be removed by the divers. We would love to have two people on shore for each diver in the water.

The City of Niles will be providing a dumpster.

We recommend everyone come early for the best parking spots to avoid a long gear haul.

Here is the facebook event link – https://www.facebook.com/events/203018966779229/

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St Joseph River Dive – Thirsty Thursday

We had 3 drivers and one shore support (Barb) off the park boardwalk in Niles and three launched from Marmont street. We were spread out all along the shore line and collected the following. Fast current, many, many trees and snag points with 4-5 foot visibility, water temperature ~65 F surface. Saw some HUGE catfish among the sunken trees and a couple of large bass. Sorry, but no pictures of Karen’s or Steve finds. Adam joined us at Marmont and we then went to Good Anuff Pub in Niles for wings and things.

(Big John N) Saw several Light packs like this and many pieces of metal . The purse did not have any money in it, honest!

(Big John N) Saw several Light packs like this and many pieces of metal. The purse did not have any money in it, honest!

(Rob N) Very nice keeps all

(Rob N) Very nice keeps all

(Mack) Cache of older small coke bottles. No Christmas cokes and only 3 were local- one was from Texas. The large milk was a nice embosed "Twin Pine Dairy, Guernsy Milk, T.W. Keirnan".

(Mack) Cache of older small coke bottles. No Christmas Cokes and only 3 were local – one was from Texas. The large milk was a nice embossed “Twin Pine Dairy, Guernsy Milk, T.W. Keirnan”.

(Jim S) All are keepers: Off set neck on the square bottle, wide mouth bell opening on one, several nice ones embossed. Two nice Christmas cokes. "PAT'D DEC. 25 1923" (called the "Christmas Cokes") were produced from 1928 to 1938. BG Info: The December 25, 1923 is the patent date. a bottle with the Dec. 25 1923 patent date is not a rare find in most cases, especially if it is the 1989 reproduction or the 1990 bottle. Most Nov. 16 1915 bottles are worth more than double, usually more, than most Christmas bottles (with a few exceptions). BUT how many of either date have you every seen !

(Jim S) All are keepers: Off-set neck on the square bottle, wide mouth bell opening on one, several nice ones embossed. Two nice Christmas Cokes.

“PAT’D DEC. 25 1923” (called the “Christmas Cokes”) were produced from 1928 to 1938. BG Info: The December 25, 1923 is the patent date. A bottle with the Dec. 25 1923 patent date is not a rare find in most cases, especially if it is the 1989 reproduction, or the 1990 bottle. Most Nov. 16 1915 bottles are worth more than double, usually more, than most Christmas bottles (with a few exceptions). BUT how many of either date have you ever seen?

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May – Dive the “Ironsides” – Lake Michigan

Kevin Ailes & Co., dove the Ironsides – an old wooden steamer that sank in 1873, located about 4 miles off of Grand Haven, MI in 120 feet of water.

The visibility this day was 60 foot with a bottom temperature of 42 degrees at 104 feet.

Kevin Ailes photo of the Ironsides buoy pict

KA Ironsides shot May 2016

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May 5th – Thirsty Thursday Dive

The May 5th – Thirsty Thursday Dive was at Paw Paw Lake, off Forest Beach, and down Pier Street in Watervliet, Mi.

If your interested in diving the area the directions are from I-94, take EXIT 41 and go North on M-140. This turns into N Main Street (thru Watervliet downtown).

Proceed North out of town toward the airport. Just past Airport Drive (on your right), turn LEFT onto FOREST BEACH road, continue until you turn LEFT on PIER road. At the junction of PIER Rd and SHORE LANE you will see the parking area for the beach and pier.

During the summer there is a porta-potty and trash can which does come in handy. The area around the pier is sand and is ~ 5 feet deep at the piers end.  You have to go out a couple of hundred feet to get to the edge of the drop off which slopes  down to about 30 feet. Most people go to the edge and grub around for bottles. The visibility has not been great this year averaging maybe 10 feet.

Forrest Beach on Pier St.

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2016 – April – Archaeology Series

The “North Berrien Historical Museum”, located at 300 Coloma Ave in Coloma, Mi., sponsored a series of programs titled “Archaeology Series” , Parts 1 thru 3.

These were presented on Thursday nights in April and were attended my many Muddies instead of  doing the typical Thirsty Thursday dives.

Part two was especially interesting to many of the Muddies because the fur trade spoken about was based at “Fort Saint Joseph” located in Niles, Mi.

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2016 – April: 30th Annual Sportsman’s Dinner

Several Muddies participated in the 30th Annual Sportsman’s Dinner held at the Midway Baptist Church in Watervliet, MI (Saturday, April 23, 2016). This is a picture of the Scuba Display – Old & the New  that was maned by several club members and their wives.

 2016 Sportsman Dinner
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Thirsty Thursdays – It now Begins

Just a reminder to all you Muddies that next week, March 31st, is the start of 2016 “Thirsty Thursday” dives.

We have three identified participants so far. The river thus far appears uncooperative so the alternate site is Paw Paw Lake, Front Beach Park at Shore Lane & Pier Street, Watervliet side.

We will be there at 5:00 pm. Come to dive or provide shore support:)

10405407_10209482861208736_157279887997867436_n PPL- Forest Beach - Pier Street

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North Pier – South Haven, Mi.

Hard core MUD Member Kevin Ailes posted information on his First dive  in Lake Michigan in 2016.

Kevin dove the north pier at South Haven tonight, but the dirty ice made it a challenge. He got in 35 mins of bottom time on a half full 72. The water temperature was 41 degrees with about 3 foot visibility. H said it was not his best dive but was his 1st of the year in the Great Lakes.

12803159_917890248327179_5743529939617452393_n North Pier - South Haven march 2016

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Gravel Lake Ice Dive & Recovery – Feb 20, 2016

Gravel Lake Recovery Dive by Jim Scholz and Don McAlhany on Feb 20th.  There was maybe 4″ of Ice, lots of fishing holes every where and a number of fisherman scattered around. We were looking for a dive some where and when Jim got a call about a lost I-phone that was all the reason to go dive. The air temperature was above 32 F, only a little breeze and lots of sun light. After the “I think it was here” area was  identified the hole was cut, equipment setup and staged. The visibility was rather good, typical bottom layer and vegetation above the muck until the searching began then it turned pitch black.  We were lucky that the X on the ice was on target because we were able to find and retrieve the phone.  Jim was able to get in  to check out the area but developed a first stage leak and wisely discontinued his dive. All in all a good day of diving.

Approaching the hole

Approaching the hole

Equipment setup

Equipment setup

Vis looking good toward the surface

Vis looking good toward the surface

time to go to work

Time to go to work

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Lake 16 Ice Dive – Feb 13, 2016

It was a blustery day for a ice dive with a high today in Martin of 10°F with a wind chill index on the ice of -9°F.  Four divers, Bob Sweeney, Robb Lyczynski, Richard Curtis, and Don McAlhany, showed up for the dive and all got wet, some for a longer time than others.

The drive there on I-94 was treacherous, lots of ice and blowing snow but at the lake the sun was shining but it was cold. We pulled the flat bed trailer on the ice with most of the gear to act as a staging platform. As we get older we get smarter, sometimes, and used an aluminum staging platform for entry and exit which made getting in and especially out very easy for everyone.

The visibility was 15 to 20 feet depending on the background and when using a tether for the divers extreme caution had to be taken to avoid the entanglement hazards with the platform and the bell support cables.

Unfortunately Bob Sweeney’s first stage on his O2 bottle blew an internal o-ring so the rebreather was parked and he temporarly became shore support. Bob did manage a short (1-2 minutes) and shallow (1 ft) dive using Richards gear when the ice plug drifted away from the hole and needed some persuasion to get it back in its place after the diving was done.

 

Lake 16 Ice Dive City 2-13-2016

Robb Lyczynski, Bob Sweeney, Richard Curtis

Bell cables & entanglement hazards 2-13-2016

Bell cables & entanglement hazards – 2-13-2016

Mac at Lake 16 2-13-2016

Mac at Lake 16 2-13-2016

Richard Curtis on platform - lake 16 on 2-13-2016

Richard Curtis on platform – 2-13-2016

 

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